This is a easy to build LED lamp circuit for Learning and building skills. This is the first draft schematic V 1.0. It will need improvements for Higher Power Lighting.

Perpetual Candle Project

Perpetual Candle - White LED Lamp on Ni-Cd

I will give a short summary, The LM317 here configured for around 6.4V DC. The Q3 BC547 limits the current, you can select R3 to suit, make it 1/2W. The Ni-Cd battery pack 1.2 * 4 will not get Over-Current or Over-Voltage due to this circuit.

The IRF540 Mosfet or any other equivalent you have around, along with Q2 BC547 forms a current source for the parallel 12 LED array. Ultra-bright White LED at 20mA each or use a 1W ready LED Chip. R4/R6 can be selected for the Max LED current.

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This is a Constant Current Source LED Driver, When the LED driver Upper-NPN is driven by a voltage thru 4.7K the LED lights up. Assume that the Lower-NPN at bottom is absent. The current via LED and NPN is limited by R. 20mA may be ok 15mA even better. Or LED blows even transistor goes.

LED Voltage Level Indicator

BC547 is like 100mA-40V-200b, Limit collector current to 60mA, use it at less than 25V and depending on the individual transistor you may get a DC current amplification of 200 times. That is 1uA of base-emitter current could give a whooping 200uA of collector-emitter current.

Constant Current Source LED Drive

Still Thinking we do not have the Lower-NPN we calculate the resistor. Vcc – ( 2 LEDs * 1.7) – Vce = Vr that is the voltage across the resistor. You know ohms law and the current needs to be 15mA for a bright and long lasting LED. Lastly 1.7 the forward drop of a green LED and 0.6 a saturated or Turrned-On NPN Vce.

Mains Voltage Current LED Indicators

Now you use the Lower-NPN, The above calculations do not hold anymore. Let us think a small current is flowing in the LED. Then the voltage across R is less than 0.7V, that means base-emitter diode of the Lower-NPN will not get to conduct. The Collector does not draw any current away. Now think that more current flows in LED, the voltage across R builds up above 0.7V the Lower-NPN is biased. The collector of Lower-NPN starts drinking current from the base of the Upper-NPN. So The Upper-NPN starts losing its bias. This lowers the LED current and contains, regulates or controls the LED current as shown in the formula.

This is a R-2R Digital to Analog Converter, It converts a byte (8 bit) to a analog value. It has 256 levels including zero.

This was the first Digital Pot i Built decades back – Digital Potentiometer

This can be used to convert a byte sent from a microcontroller to a analog value like say 1.51 V. At full scale, when all 8 bits are high calibrate to give 2.55 V then ever bit increment is 0.01V, 10mV steps.

Digital to Analog with R2R Ladder Network

If the eight bits inputs are from a counter you then will see a staircase waveform at output, each step being 10mV higher or lower depending on whether the counter is counting up or down.

The accuracy of the analog output depends on the resistor ladder. The OP07 has an offset error of about 70uV only. The 74HCT373 power is derived from LM336 a stable reference so that the D-A is accurate. The 8 bit data can be latched with the 74HCT373 to get a stable analog value for control systems.

See another circuit in which both these ICs are used Mini RTD Pt-100 Three Wire Transmitter

OP07E has very low input offset voltage 75 µV max and low input bias current ±4 nA

This will monitor telephone status without loading the telephone line, this way if you have two phones in parallel you will know if one of them is busy. Connect the two ends of circuit in parallel to phone lines.

Telephone LED status indicator

D1 to D4 make a bridge so that LED’s are powered in correct polarity. LED1 indicates line ok no broken line, LED3 can light only when a 12V Zener breaksdown, this shows if line is busy or free, so that you dont go online when someone is talking on the phone in another room. LED2 lights on an incoming call ringing signal.

Learn on Gadget Hacks and Making Things

This is a higher voltage at least in older exchanges, so the cap protects the LED, and LED Lights when a AC ringing signal occurs. D6 protects LED2 from reverse polarity.

Learning Science to Promote Scientific Thinking

Science is best learnt with practical lab work in tandem with theory. Theory becomes appetizing only with practical experiments. In fact theory should follow practical experiments.

I don’t remember if this circuit worked properly. But a few were made and i might not have shown the modifications that were done to make it work. This was meant to be a portable, low cost, insulation tester for an electrician. If you try it out and debug it it may work well.

High Resistance Insulation Materials

A negative voltage is derived by shifting gnd with two diodes, i feel this did not work very well. Two pins of CD4028 pins are also used to boost the reference to get two extra ranges as 4051 has a 100E on resistance.

High Resistance Meter

The 555 clock makes 4029 counter count. But the clock can be clamped to gnd by a TL062 window comparator. The clock is frozen when the input value to comparator pin 5-2 is within a lower limit and upper limit “window” pin 3-6.

Insulation Tester

The 4029 counter BCD is decoded to decimal by 4028 which drives the LEDs, keep LED drive within 3mA or chip will be loaded. Use high efficiency extra-bright LEDs.

The 4029 BCD also controls a shunt resistor array with CMOS switches 4051. The voltage across shunt is a sample of leakage current. This is compared in the window comparator to freeze the Clock and LED display to give a reading of the leakage current or Insulation Resistance.

Neon Light Flasher was made by me when i was young, it was even published in a magazine, i think it will work, it was used on a very old huge ornamental valve philips stereo system in the remote speakers.

Home Made Circuits

Recently i captured this circuit in eagle to publish online, it seems to have a small design error. It worked well for many years. The step-down transformer is used as a step-up here. The secondary winding was around 50mA so the resistance was protecting the 2N2222. (SL100 was used in the original one). C1 and R3 may need tweaking to get the desired adjustment range in R2.

Music Sound to light converter

The voltage across the speaker is fed to C1-Gnd, which blocks DC component. R1, R2, R3 form a threshold bias for T1. 2N2222 chops the 12V DC in tune with the music.

Basics of Electronics

The chopped DC current flowing in the 12V winding of TR1 is stepped up into AC pulses over 100V, this lights the Neon in flashes synchronizing in real-time with the beats. Known Issues – It does not perform well at low Bass like 20Hz.

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This LED Indicator uses a LM339, a quad comparator. LM339 can work on single or dual supplies, it has a open collector output that can drive 15mA, low power consumption. The circuit is an untested design but it should work.

Mains Voltage and Power Circuits – Similar circuits for Mains Voltage Monitoring.

There are many better circuits in the various circuit archives i have linked on the front page, you just have to look around. When you measure the open circuit voltage of a battery with a high impedance DMM (10M), the value may be a bit misleading. Apply a dummy load to bleed the battery a bit so that proper readings can be taken on Load. The load below is a 100 ohms wire-wound fusible ceramic resistor which will heat a bit when you test 12V batteries.
Battery Level LED Indicator

Theory of Operation.

R16 a 5W ceramic wire wound bleeder or dummy load. R15 is a part of an attenuator for obtaining ranges. D2 is a protection clamp diode. R10-D1 forms the 5V reference for comparators. Then an attenuator obtains 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 V steps for each comparator. This circuit is similar to Audio Level meter or VU meter circuit.

Comparators in Interface Circuits

The comparator compares the battery sample voltage to the fixed reference step. If ‘+’ pin is more positive than ‘-‘, or is ‘+’ is more dominant, then output goes floating ‘open collector’, so No LED light . But if ‘-‘ is more dominant the output transistor of comparator goes low impedance or saturates or turns ‘ON’. But only spec current can be switched, do not compare with electrical switch ‘ON’. Also on a dual supply 0V is more dominant or positive compared with -12V, even though it appears -12V is a big number. The direction of current is what decides, all measurements are relative.

This is a demo of the popular 555 timer. you can try out the project on this page by a javascript simulation. Press the Red button below to turn on the circuit press it again to turn off. The 555 can source (LED2) or Sink (LED1) upto 200mA. It can even drive a small motor or lamp with diodes added to protect from inductive kickback.Vary Ra, Rb and Ct with the controls given and see the change of frequency, period and duty cycle.

This is a tutorial with calculator to help learn the application of 555 which is a very rare chip innovation. It is simple, versatile, flexible and programmable (by tweaking of pots).

Astable 555 Timer Flasher – Interactive demo

The 555 Astable oscillator gives a square wave output at pin 3, The output drives two LEDs, LED1 lights up when pin 3 is low and LED2 when pin 3 is high.

The 555 can source (LED2) or Sink (LED1) upto 200mA. It can even drive a small motor or lamp with diodes added to protect from inductive kickback. Vary Ra, Rb and Ct and see the change of frequency, period and duty cycle.

Astable Multivibrator with 555 Timer

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